Doug Lansky is probably best known as the guy who writes the weekly travel column "Signspotting" syndicated in several dozen newspapers here in the U.S., but he's also the author of several books by Rough Guides that cover the fundamentals of planning a trip around the world. Doug currently lives in Sweden with his Swedish wife (duh), and is a full time columnist for the inflight magazine of Air Scandanavia, or whatever they call their airline. Here's an insightful interview with Doug posted last year at a website that specializes in vacation rentals, but has loads of background content on most anyplace in the world.
Interview: Doug Lansky
Author, Speaker and Travel Writer
By Nana Chen - After telling copy machines where to go, Doug Lansky packed his bags and took off saying goodbye to life as an intern at Late Night with David Letterman, "Spy Magazine," and "The New Yorker". That was in 1992. Much has changed since. After traveling around the world and becoming an expert at it, Doug Lansky has now penned and edited numerous award-winning bestselling travel books, including The Last Trout in Venice.
Currently working on three new titles, including the upcoming “Rough Guide to Travel Survival: The Essential Field Manual,” Doug Lansky gives lectures on world travel at almost every destination you can imagine. In addition, Lansky serves as the editor of Scanorama, the In-flight magazine of Scandinavian Airlines and is a regular contributor to several major newspapers and magazines. We were able to share a few words with him via email.
Nana: You've been traveling for nearly ten years now. May I ask why you started traveling? What event started it all?
Doug: I was in London studying for a semester and between the freezing rain and almost four hours per day on the Tube, I wasn't enjoying my travel experience much and was thinking I'd just head home. I figured I'd do a bit of Inter-Railing before heading home and maybe it was the change of weather when I arrived in Portugal or falling asleep on the trains or the excitement of getting a job selling carpets in Morocco -- probably all -- I fell profoundly in love with travel. After finishing university, I told myself I wanted to travel around the world before turning 25. After 2 1/2 years on the road, I was still as hooked as when I started.
Nana: How were you able to finance your travels when you started? I know a lot of people go on work holidays, teaching ESL in Korea or milking cows in Denmark. Please tell us what sort of jobs you've had on the road.